Summer Fun without the Sun

We talk all year about how we can’t wait to spend long summer days outside, but when the heat index soars and the humidity makes those “feels like” temps creep above 90 degrees, it’s just way too hot to even think about being outdoors.

Instead of letting the heat keep you home-bound this summer, keep this list handy for last minute A/C-friendly activity ideas.


Indoor Playgrounds


With over 60,000 square feet of 85+ arcade games, laser tag, an obstacle course and more, you’re guaranteed a good time.
Address: 6002 Sunnyside Rd., Indianapolis

Kid’s Planet

With jungle gyms, multi-level playgrounds, arcade games and more, Kid’s Planet is a great spot to host a birthday party or just enjoy the indoors for a few hours.
Address: 499 Southpoint Circle, STE 101-102, Brownsburg

KidCity at Greenwood Community Center

This two-story playspace is fun and educational, with STEM-focused activity centers incorporating science, art and music.
Address: 100 Surina Way, Greenwood

Main Event

Bowling, laser tag, arcade games — oh my! Head to Main Event for nonstop family fun.
Address: 4016 E. 82nd Street, Indianapolis

Main Event
The Park at Traders Point Christian Church

Free and open to the public, The Park’s indoor playspace is a great place for parents to unwind and kids to let out some energy.
Address: 6590 S. Indianapolis Rd, Whitestown

The Urban Chalkboard 

A play-based learning cafe, the experts at The Urban Chalkboard continue to develop play experiences, classes, camps, and activities that nurture a growth mindset in little learners.
Address: 452 E. Carmel Drive, Carmel

Playland at Brookville Road Community Church

Free and open to children 4½ feet and under, The Playland features slides, tunnels, an area for kids under 2 and more!
Address: 7480 US-52, New Palestine

Pro tip: Plan your visit during popular morning and afternoon nap times, or eat an early lunch and get there right at noon, when everyone else will be taking a break. See our full indoor playground list here!


The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

The world’s biggest children’s museum has numerous exhibits, daily shows and programs, member events and so much more.
Address: 3000 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis

Credit: Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Indiana State Museum

Learn about the Hoosier story in a building made entirely from Indiana materials and catch a movie on the state’s largest IMAX screen.
Address: 650 W. Washington St., Indianapolis

Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

Get to know rich and fascinating Native American and Western art, stories and culture.
Address: 500 W Washington St, Indianapolis

NCAA Hall of Champions

With two levels of NCAA trivia, games and interactive exhibits, the Hall of Champions has something for everyone.
Address: 700 W. Washington St., Indianapolis

Indiana Historical Society

Learn all about what makes the Hoosier state great.
Address: 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis

Conner Prairie Discovery Station

Have fun building a fort, playing dress up and putting on a puppet show.
Address: 13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers

Nature Centers

Habitat Hall at Holliday Park

Free to the public, this 13,000-foot nature center educates visitors with hands-on experiences, classes, after-school activities, arts and crafts, and more. Note that some classes may have fees.
Address: 6363 Spring Mill Rd, Indianapolis

The Ornithology and Earth Discovery Center at Eagle Creek

Look out over the bird sanctuary from the observation room and learn all about birds with hands-on kiosks and activities.
Address: 6515 Delong Road, Indianapolis

Cool Creek Park & Nature Center

Nature lovers are invited to learn about the science of Indiana woodlands and the importance of preserving plants and animals in their natural habitats.
Address: 2000 E 151st St, Carmel

Cool Creek Park & Nature Center
Cool Creek Park & Nature Center

Pro tip: Call ahead or check online for kids’ activities, such as animal feedings and craft projects, to extend your time inside.

Art Centers

Indianapolis Art Center

Art classes, free rotating exhibits, art camps and more will give your kids a chance to cool down and get creative this summer.
Address: 820 E. 67th St., Indianapolis

Indianapolis Art Center
Indianapolis Art Center
The Art Lab 

Events, classes, workshops and more are offered for both kids and adults at this Carmel-based art center.
Address: 31 E. Main St. #300, Carmel

Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

Explore the museum’s rotating and permanent exhibits and sign up for one of their many art programs.
Address: 4000 N. Michigan Rd., Indianapolis 

Garfield Park Arts Center (GPAC)

Rotating indoor exhibits, art and dance classes, family art nights, and more are available throughout the summer at GPAC!
Address: 2432 Conservatory Dr., Indianapolis

Bookstores & Libraries

Your local library

Find your nearest Indianapolis Public Library branch and attend one of the many free events and activities. From writers workshops to reading circles, art classes to book clubs, lectures to animal shows, and everything in between, the IPL has no shortage of activities to keep your little ones entertained on hot days this summer! 

Indy Reads Books

Kids chess club, a drag queen reading hour and more await you and your family at Indy Reads this summer.
Address: 911 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis

Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore

Kids Ink connects kids to literature through a rich selection of books, games, puzzles, creative-play toys, events and more.
Address: 5619 N. Illinois St., Indianapolis

Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore
Books & Brews

With nine Indiana locations and growing, family-friendly Books & Brews offers beer (for parents), food, $3 books and ample board games.
Address: Multiple locations

Pro tip: The Central Library downtown offers inexpensive underground parking (enter off Pennsylvania Street) for those days when you really don’t want to go outside.

Need some more ideas? Try these activities to burn off some excess energy!

Roller skating
Ice skating
Rock climbing
Gymnastics places
Bounce houses/trampoline places
Indoor sports centers
Bowling – Check out the Kids Bowl Free program!

Related Articles



From our Sponsors